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Hi there.

I'm a general contractor focusing primarily on large scale restorations.  As a result I plan to use many of Chief's functions and I need to develop a fairly comprehensive understanding of the project.

I studied architecture in college (not registered) but that was seconds before CADD became common.  I have zero design software experience.

I attended the introductory class in Idaho last summer but fell behind within the first half day and never caught up.  The pace was far too fast and we covered too much ground.  I ended up holing up in my hotel room and studying the second day.

I have devoted a few hours a week the past 4-5 months on learning using the X8 user guide but haven't gotten much farther than the "Stucco Beach House"..... if I draw that one much more I will go nuts.  I just don't seem to be catching on as fast I would like.  I would like a structured learning program that I can undertake an hour or two per day until I learn the program.  

Does anyone know of good teachers or services outside Chief's programs who provide this?  I see a few things online but don't know whether they are helpful or not.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Jonathan Mills

Mills Builders Inc.

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It does take time to learn but start with a structure or set of plans that you are intimately familiar with such as your own house or something someone else drew well and you built. Reproduce it so you have a complete set of working drawings.  Watch as many CA training videos as you can absorb and start drawing then hit the help files when you get stuck or post a specific question here with screen shots of where you are at and where you need to be and someone will usually be able to help.  CA provides one on one training and there are also several experienced users on this forum that do as well but a self directed jump right in program usually works best.

 

Welcome and Good Luck

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Thank you Chopsaw.

I like that idea.  I have no shortage of plans from built projects and like the dive-in approach you suggest.

I appreciate your advice.

Jonathan

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Look in << Offering services >> where you'll find people you can contact. It can be incremental and you'll get a straight answer to the problems you are dealing with.

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Johnathon chiefexperts.com and chieftutor.com are very good place to look for help both are very helpful and if you join there site you can review their classes at anytime, along with the great people on here that are always willing to help each other when stuck on something

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I was a housebuilder for a while, and wanted to have some software for doing more work.  Built an exact copy, down to the light fixtures and doorknobs, of the one shown here at this link.  https://www.houseplans.com/plan/2979-square-feet-3-bedrooms-2-5-bathroom-prairie-style-house-plans-2-garage-33513

 

First thing I did (I did not know about or had a need for Chief yet) was to learn Sketchup, and I used it to do an exact model of the structure I was just completing.  See it here in the 3D Warehouse.  https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=6c9192eb17218bc02a08194fd3f4120d  My interest in 3D software at the time was for the purpose of working out roof structures so I could better specify and check engineered roof truss submittal drawings.

 

After I finished that house, I got into kitchen and bath work with a partner, and realized after a few jobs that I needed far better 3D rendering than what Sketchup would do for me.  So I got Chief, and began to climb the learning curve.  I committed myself to about two hours a day of work, making an exactly-detailed model of the house I had built.  I used Sketchup to make symbols of many of the custom fixtures in the house.

 

After that, I wanted to be able to make professional con docs, and so used the resources at the Chief website to get examples of con docs.  Wendy's and Joey's examples were my guide.  Again, I used the house I had built, for which I owned a highly detailed 25-page planset, as my guide, plus the styles and detail schemes used by Wendy and Joey, to do so.

 

IMHO, it is the best way to learn Chief, plus coming here and asking questions.

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1 hour ago, chief58 said:

Johnathon chiefexperts.com and chieftutor.com are very good place to look for help both are very helpful and if you join there site you can review their classes at anytime, along with the great people on here that are always willing to help each other when stuck on something

 

I second the recommendation for Chief Experts (Dan Baumann) chiefexperts.com I had the pleasure of taking one of his classes (live, in person, in Minnesota) years ago when I first started. I'm just coming back now. I would love to take another class from Dan! Good luck! I'm climbing the CA learning curve too. :)

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Jonathan:

 

I agree with Chopsaw - model a real house that you have access to

 

solving all those problems  issues will go a long ways to getting "good"

 

just going thru abstract "lessons" would be tedious and boring to me

 

also recommend Dan at Chief Experts

 

also follow every posting on this forum - every one

 

even if you don't understand it or try it at the time

you will remember that there is a solution for that issue

 

this forum is a great education tool

 

Lew

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I am currently in the process of learning Chief Architect myself.  I purchased the software through the rent-to-own program, starting in October of 2015.  I often find I learn the most about using the the software when my boss gives me a project that I can try to model within CA.  I have currently been working on a basement remodel and a pole built residential structure.  My boss just loved it when he was able to show his customer some interior elevations and 3D views I had generated with the software.  If I can get my vision corrected with special contacts, I hope to dig deaper into learning the software.

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